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Archive for the ‘law’ category

Aug 12, 2019

The Coming Automation of Propaganda

Posted by in categories: law, robotics/AI

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a thousand bots screaming from a human face – forever (apologies to George Orwell). As U.S. policymakers remain indecisive over how to prevent a repeat of the 2016 election interference, the threat is looming ever more ominous on the horizon. The public has unfortunately settled on the term “bots” to describe the social media manipulation activities of foreign actors, invoking an image of neat rows of metal automatons hunched over keyboards, when in reality live humans are methodically at work. While the 2016 election mythologized the power of these influence-actors, such work is slow, costly, and labor-intensive. Humans must manually create and manage accounts, hand-write posts and comments, and spend countless hours reading content online to signal-boost particular narratives. However, recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) may soon enable the automation of much of this work, massively amplifying the disruptive potential of online influence operations.

This emerging threat draws its power from vulnerabilities in our society: an unaware public, an underprepared legal system, and social media companies not sufficiently concerned with their exploitability by malign actors. Addressing these vulnerabilities requires immediate attention from lawmakers to inform the public, address legal blind spots, and hold social media companies to account.

Aug 10, 2019

Don’t change your DNA at home, says America’s first CRISPR law

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, law

A California “human biohacking” bill calls for warnings on do-it-yourself genetic-engineering kits.

Jul 29, 2019

Microsoft Invests $1 Billion in OpenAI’s Mission to Build Artificial General Intelligence

Posted by in categories: law, robotics/AI, transportation

But that always looked like a tall order when faced with stiff competition from tech giants like Google, IBM, and Amazon, all happy to pour billions into AI research. Faced with that reality, OpenAI has undergone a significant metamorphosis in the last couple of years.

Musk stepped away last year, citing conflicts of interest as his electric car company Tesla invests in self-driving technology and disagreements over the direction of the organization. Earlier this year a for-profit arm was also spun off to enable OpenAI to raise investment in its effort to keep up.

A byzantine legal structure will supposedly bind the new company to the original mission of the nonprofit. OpenAI LP is controlled by OpenAI’s board and obligated to advance the nonprofit’s charter. Returns for investors are also capped at 100 times their stake, with any additional value going to the nonprofit, though that’s a highly ambitious target that needs to be hit before any limits on profiteering would kick in.

Jul 27, 2019

‘In God We Trust’ signs going up in South Dakota public schools

Posted by in categories: education, law, neuroscience

Is this new law anti-kemetic and anti-pagan as it implies only one “God”? And why should atheists put up with this public brainwashing? A new state law that took effect this month requires all public schools in the state’s 149 districts to paint, stencil or otherwise prominently display the national motto.


RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP)- When students return to public schools across South Dakota this fall, they should expect to see a new message on display: “In God We Trust.”

A new state law that took effect this month requires all public schools in the state’s 149 districts to paint, stencil or otherwise prominently display the national motto.

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Jul 21, 2019

Italy passes law to send unsold food to charities instead of dumpsters

Posted by in categories: food, law

Italy joins growing list of countries looking to end food-waste.

Jul 18, 2019

The plan to mine the world’s research papers

Posted by in categories: computing, law

Carl Malamud is on a crusade to liberate information locked up behind paywalls — and his campaigns have scored many victories. He has spent decades publishing copyrighted legal documents, from building codes to court records, and then arguing that such texts represent public-domain law that ought to be available to any citizen online. Sometimes, he has won those arguments in court. Now, the 60-year-old American technologist is turning his sights on a new objective: freeing paywalled scientific literature. And he thinks he has a legal way to do it.


A giant data store quietly being built in India could free vast swathes of science for computer analysis — but is it legal?

Jul 6, 2019

How Will We Govern Ourselves in Space?

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, law, space travel, treaties

A new golden age of space exploration is upon us, with growing numbers of countries and private enterprises eager to establish themselves in space for the sake of scientific inquiry, national prestige, adventurous tourism, billionaires’ bragging rights, mineral riches, and even as a hedge against any future calamity that might devastate our home planet.

Our motivations for exploration may vary, but the spaceward rush raises questions about how we will govern ourselves beyond the bonds of Earth. Cold War-era space treaties, vague notions of how legal frameworks on Earth might migrate to settlements in space, and cautionary tales from both history and science fiction offer some guidance, but we could benefit from a larger conversation about how we want to govern them.

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Jun 27, 2019

My next discussion on the future of technology and society is focused on freedom of expression and governance

Posted by in categories: governance, law

Click on photo to start video.

I’m joined by Jenny Martinez, the Dean of Stanford Law School, and Noah Feldman, a Professor at Harvard Law. They’re both experts in constitutional law, and Noah is also an advisor to Facebook helping us define the independent oversight board where people will be able to appeal our content decisions. The idea is to create a separation of powers so that while Facebook is responsible for enforcing our policies, we aren’t in the position to make so many decisions about speech on our own. This board will be tasked with upholding the principle of free expression while ensuring we keep our community safe.

This morning we also released a report with all the feedback we’ve gotten from experts about how to best set up this board based on almost 30 workshops we’ve hosted around the world. It also covers many of the questions asked in our live discussion, including how the board members should be selected to ensure independence, what the scope of their decision-making should be, the importance of publishing their deliberations, and more. You can check out the full report here: https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/oversight-b…port-1.pdf

Jun 15, 2019

Is America Ready for Legalized Shrooms? This Psychologist Made of Bees Says “Yes”

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, law, policy

O.o!


With the growing economic success of legalized recreational marijuana in 11 states it seems that national legalization is right around the corner, but could hallucinogenic mushrooms be next?

The city of Oakland recently decriminalized shrooms, a policy likely to be enacted by the entire state of California. Advocacy groups for the outright legalization of psilocybin have gained a lot of traction in recent years throughout California, Oregon and Colorado. We recently interviewed a respected psychologist who believes that legalized magic mushrooms not only could but should happen in America. He was incredibly wise, and made of hundreds of thousands of bees.

Continue reading “Is America Ready for Legalized Shrooms? This Psychologist Made of Bees Says ‘Yes’” »

Jun 4, 2019

The Patent Subject Matter Reconfiguration and the Emergence of Proprietarian Norms

Posted by in categories: business, evolution, law

This paper analyses the evolution of the institution of patent by examining the normative meaning of business method patents. A business method is defined as a process of converting abstract data to useful information, to be applied in business activities. A business method patent is a patent whose claims are directed to a business method, regardless of the claim format. In recent years, the patenting of business methods in the US, Japan and in Europe has generated a global claim of controversy. Business method patenting is often seen as an example of subject matter expansion, by which process the institution of patent accommodates challenges brought forth by the increased quantity of potential subject matter. As the subject matter expansion begs the question of what is the proper boundary of the patent law, this paper attempts to answer this question by examining relevant statutes and cases, the administrative examination guidelines of the patent offices, and the claims of business method patents issued in Japan, the US and Europe. Specifically, the thesis questions whether business method patenting signifies something more than a mere accretion of a subject matter, and is a reconfiguration of patent eligible subject matter; and whether this can be justified with the instrumentalism. The paper suggests that to include business methods as a patent-eligible subject matter, courts and patent offices in the US, Japan and Europe have commonly redefined the meaning of invention of technology, from the context of physical instantiation, i.e., physical transformation, to the level of conceptual instantiation, i.e., useful information. Although they are varying in their extensiveness, as a result, the practical definitions of patent-eligible subject matter in all three regions, understood from the issued patents, court decisions and examination guidelines, reflects this change. This thesis argues that this could signify the reconfiguration of patent-eligible subject matter.

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